Specify the License Server Discovery Mode

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

A terminal server must be able to contact (discover) a Terminal Services license server in order to request Terminal Services client access licenses (TS CALs) for users or computing devices that are connecting to the terminal server.

The license server discovery mode for the terminal server can be set in the following ways:

  • By configuring License Server discovery mode for the terminal server in the Terminal Services Configuration tool.

    If the Specify the license server discovery mode choices are dimmed and you cannot make a selection, the Use the specified Terminal Services license servers Group Policy setting has been enabled and has been applied to the terminal server.

  • By applying the Use the specified Terminal Services license servers Group Policy setting.

    This Group Policy setting is located in Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Terminal Services\Terminal Server\Licensing and can be configured by using either the Local Group Policy Editor or the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC). Note that the Group Policy setting will take precedence over the setting configured in Terminal Services Configuration.

In the license server discovery process, a terminal server in a Windows Server-based domain attempts to contact a license server in the following order:

  • License servers that are specified in Terminal Services Configuration

  • A license server that is installed on the same computer as the terminal server

  • License servers that are published in Active Directory Domain Services

  • License servers that are installed on domain controllers in the same domain as the terminal server


To see which license servers the terminal server discovers and to be alerted to possible licensing discovery and configuration issues, use Licensing Diagnosis in Terminal Services Configuration. For more information about Licensing Diagnosis, see Identify Possible Licensing Problems for the Terminal Server.

For more information about license server discovery and configuring TS Licensing, see the Terminal Services page on the Windows Server 2008 TechCenter (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=73931).

For more information about Group Policy settings for Terminal Services, see the Terminal Services Technical Reference (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?Linkid=89673).

Additional references